Interview: Luke Thomas on Circa’s Peepshow at Underbelly Festival

Luke Thomas Interview Peepshow Circa
Luke Thomas Interview Peepshow Circa

Circa, ‘The rockstars of the circus world’ come to London with Peepshow, an exciting European premiere that turns cabaret on its head, literally.

By makers of the smash-hit shows Humans, Beyond, Wunderkammer and Closer, Peepshow combines some of the finest acrobatic talent on the planet under the direction of circus visionary Yaron Lifschitz.

Luke Thomas makes his Circa debut and we spoke to him to find out more.

Peepshow is at Underbelly Festival 27th June – 18th August 2018.

Peepshow is coming to Underbelly Festival, what can you tell us about the show?

Peepshow is Circa’s newest production that takes cabaret and flips it on its head. Circa’s shows mean different things to different people, but to me the show is all about perceptions – it’s about watching to see and being watched, and the dualities between the identities of how people see themselves and how others see them. All set to a really slick soundtrack with a late-night nightclub feel.

What skills do you demonstrate in Peepshow?

In addition to everyone’s specialised acts, in the show there are a lot of dynamic group acrobatics which we perform in duos, trios, and as a whole ensemble. One of my specialisations is tissu which is featured in the show. I’m also involved in a bit of a cheeky reveal which I won’t spoil – just see if you can spot me on stage!

What made you want to take this up as a career?

I did a lot of sport when I was younger but when I started doing circus my local circus company (35 Degrees South in Ulladulla) it became a big passion and I spent a lot of time working on skills and act creation. Towards the end of my schooling years I realised that if I could turn something I loved doing into my career, it would make me one happy guy. So, towards the end of year 12, I auditioned for the National Institute of Circus Arts in Melbourne, and once I got in I knew that performing was a serious career option that I could pursue.

Did you ever think you would be mixing cabaret with circus, and do they mix well?

They seem to go together hand-in-hand! A lot of cabaret has found its way into circus over the years, and the theatricality of the form is ingrained into Peepshow’s aesthetic. In saying that, the show flips the expectation and presents something completely unexpected.

This is your debut with Circa, how does it feel to be joining the ‘the rockstars of the circus world’?

It’s insane! It all still feels surreal for me; to be starting my career working with a company I had admired for such a long time. Circa has inspired me so much as a performer and artist, it’s exciting to think that now working for this incredible company, it is my turn to inspire others.

What are you most looking forward to about performing at Underbelly Festival?

Being among other amazing artists in one of the most artistically rich cities in the world. I can’t wait to perform and bring the show to life. I’m also quite excited for the whole experience such as seeing new work, meeting new artists, showing our work etc. I have never performed at the Underbelly Festival before but have heard so many amazing things and look forward to every part of it.

Greg is an award-winning writer with a huge passion for theatre. He has appeared on stage, as well as having directed several plays in his native Scotland. Greg is the founder and editor of Theatre Weekly

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